Queiroga says that one of the themes of the conversation between him and Tedros was how to secure more vaccines in the next three months. According to the minister, in addition to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and Butantan, a technical analysis will also be carried out “for the adequacy of parks that produce animal vaccines to use them to produce vaccines in humans”.
He said several times that it is necessary to observe the rules of prevention of contagion, such as wearing masks and avoiding crowds, but that there will not be a law that will force people to do this.
“Brazil is one of the focuses of the disease, we are losing many Brazilians every day. This is due to the pressure on the health system,” said Queiroga. It was at that moment that he asked people to wear masks, to keep distance between them and not to make crowds.
“We all know that the use of masks is essential, there is a need for the Brazilian population to adhere,” he said.
He then stated that the idea is also to protect the economy and that avoiding lockdown is the order. “There is no point in wanting to do this on the basis of the imposition. They will not succeed. It is not a law that will force people to wear a mask, there is too much law in this country. It is necessary for people to believe what we are saying and do it,” he said.
Queiroga stated that the priority, at the moment, is to expand the vaccination campaign. He repeated that vaccines are lacking in Brazil and in the world.
The minister said the government had committed to the goal of 1 million vaccine injections per day in April.
“We have the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and the Butantan Institute guaranteeing us 30 million [de doses] in the month of April, “he said.
One of the problems is that it lacks Active Pharmaceuticals (IFA), one of the basic components to make the vaccine.
Queiroga said that the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation has been talking to AstraZeneca to produce a national IFA, which would give the country more autonomy. The minister said, however, that he has also been talking to the Chinese embassy in order to be able to import a larger quantity. “It is on the basis of dialogue that we seek solutions,” he said.
The ministry also has doses from the Covax consortium. “In October, Brazil allocated US $ 150 million for us to have a supply of vaccines to cover 10% of our population,” he said.
The Covax Facility is a global alliance with more than 150 countries created to drive the development and distribution of vaccines against Covid-19. The initiative is led by the World Health Organization (WHO). Brazil’s agreement with the consortium provides for 42 million doses.
There was also a conversation with Defense President Jair Bolsonaro and Walter Braga Netto. The three talked about how the Armed Forces can act to speed up the vaccination campaign.
“We will have support from the Armed Forces in logistics, and with the technical staff of the health area, helping states and municipalities to vaccinate effectively,” he said.
The Armed Forces are present throughout the country, which could help the campaign, he said, without giving further details.
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